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Lie back to enjoy new art at National Gallery

Visitors recline on a floor installation by Celine Condorelli at the National Gallery in London. (PA)
Visitors recline on a floor installation by Celine Condorelli at the National Gallery in London. (PA)

Visitors to the National Gallery will be invited to lie back, relax and become part of the exhibition in an new installation unveiled on Wednesday.

The work by artist in residence Céline Condorelli is a 25 by 6 metre textile sculpture on the ceiling of one of the gallery’s main rooms.

Her work, called Pentimenti (The Corrections), also includes recordings of people made in nearby Trafalgar Square bringing the outside world into the gallery. It was partly inspired by time Condorelli spent alone in the galleries at night when the sound of buskers playing outside would filter through the wrought iron grates in the floor.

Condorelli, whose work can be viewed in Room 31 of the gallery until January 7 next year, said she was “hugely honoured” to have been artist in residence.

She said: “Being given the opportunity to spend time in the company of such a rich collection is incredible and I look forward to getting to know the museum inside and out.

“This feels like an important moment to address cultural institutions and their social responsibilities with fresh eyes as well as the role of artists within them.”

Founded in 1824, the gallery’s collection of thousands of works includes landmark paintings by artists including Leonardo da Vinci, JMW Turner and Claude Monet.

Gallery director Gabriele Finaldi welcomed the new work.

He said: “Céline’s thoughtful and striking objects and installations provide new insights into our collections and the life and activity of our museums.”

Condorelli is the third artist in residence to work on the gallery’s programme of contemporary art following in the footsteps of Rosalind Nashashibi in 2019 and Ali Cherri in 2021.